I forgot that I signed up for the Malmesbury Carnival 10K until I received an email reminder last week. I also forgot that upon registration for the event I was given the option of personalizing my bib number. When I went to pick it up, the guy ahead of me had put down “Mel Gibson,” prompting me to mutter, ‘jackass,’ under my breath. I gave my name and the volunteer retrieved my number whilst reading back “Pub Crawl.” Jackass, indeed.
We started beneath the Abbey but you really couldn’t see it from the start and it was at your back or obscured by houses after the horn blew. The race I ran was pretty disappointing on its own merits: I didn’t even break 45 minutes, the race was chip timed, and the field was small so I cannot blame starting at the back of the pack (maybe I lost 30 seconds filtering through the crowd in the first kilometer but no excuses…I was capable of sub-40 but really couldn’t ask myself to try that hard).
So, I cleared the finishing mat and was confronted by the mayor, herself, hanging the finishing medals on all comers. It was mortifying but it would have been rude to decline and I was able to remove it once out of the tent and moving on toward my fish lunch.
The next step was to live up to the Pub Crawl label and to extend the daily mileage by hitting all the pubs within a short detour of the race path (linked here). This resulted in a net 15 miles with stops at the Red Bull, the Cat and Custard Pot, and the Horse Guards before a valedictory beverage at the Three Cups. There were still a few stragglers coming in on the B4040 as I headed out and an intermittent-to-steady stream of cyclists but, largely, I had the quiet roads to myself.